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Need help buying a new bike please

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Need help buying a new bike please

Old 11-01-22, 06:30 AM
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Need help buying a new bike please

As the title suggests Iím in the market for a new bike. Me and some friends are going to be cycling from South Africa to Egypt in a couple of years so Iíll be beginning the training in the new year.

I currently donít own a bike thatís suitable for my needs. Three years ago I herniated 3 discs in my lumbar spine, two of which are only suitable for surgical repair (which due to my age I have not had yet). This had made rising my bike over 50 miles a pain in the arse, literally 😂

I have a Sensium 100 road bike which is brilliant but not for me. I am in dire need of some advice from other cyclists which have undertaken long journeys and/or had similar injuries. I am unable to have a lot cycling position for long duration which is my main issue. The second issue is there a bloody load of bikes out there and narrowing them down right now seems an impossible feat. Gravel/tourer, carbon/steel etc.

thanks for any advice or help you can throw my way!
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Old 11-01-22, 07:07 AM
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With your back issues, you might not make the trip. You might want to see what your physician suggests, and buy a low budget bike that meets any criteria that the physician suggests. Then half a year before your trip, if you are certain that you will be going, buy the bike for the trip. Over the next couple years you would learn a lot about bikes from other riders that you meet and talk to. You could get a lot of good advice from them on what bikes available in the UK would be ideal for that.
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Old 11-01-22, 07:47 AM
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let's face it, your back issues are a red flag and an entirely important factor outside of all the other stuff associated with a huge undertaking like this.

One concrete suggestion I can give you, coming from someone who has done longish trips, is use the time you have to slowly accumulate hands on mechanical experience working on bikes. I don't know if in the UK there are bike co-ops, where people can work on their own bikes using tools at the co-op, but becoming more knowledgeable and comfortable maintaining, troubleshooting and fixing issues will go a long way for doing any long bike tour.

and thats not even touching on the challenges riding from S A through Aftrica.

When biking in Mexico, I met a guy who later did ride up from SA partway up, can't recall where, but he does have loads of youtube videos on his channel, and I would sometimes watch bits of his Africa stuff, I'll try to find the name.
This will at least be another resource for you to give you an idea of what you'd be dealing with.
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Old 11-01-22, 11:17 AM
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Good points, above, which give you a series of "action steps." First, get doc's opinion on whether this is a possibility with two years of prep. If yes, then define what you are prepping for, such as "I will need to spend 7 hours a day in the saddle for five days a week for seven weeks." The group will set this trip's particular parameters, but you've got to be *at least* better than the weakest member of the group - you cannot be "the problem child.". Then you have your defined goal, and you must decide whether or not you like LOVE the goal. You'd better really love it because you have more significant obstacles to overcome with these existing injuries. I like the "go cheap, get good, then buy the solution bike when you've thought a lot about it." Note, however, that you're looking at easily 500 hours of training over the two years, so I wouldn't go too cheap. The training bike must be one you love to mount every day, 'cause that's what you're gonna be doing. Sell that one when you select the touring bike. And start thinking about your approach to off-season training.
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Old 11-01-22, 11:28 AM
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I would highly suggest talking with a fitter and getting a fit done and letting them help you out more with some bike selection.

Obviously yes this is a huge undertaking and it might make sense to give it a year of training and see if it is possible and talk with some doctors as well especially those more fluent in sports medicine.
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Old 11-01-22, 11:57 AM
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As you say you are beginning to train now, so I will assume that you will know sooner than 2 years whether to go or what kind of trip it will need to be to go. On bikes,look for something with a more upright seating position. Touring bikes in general should provide what you need. There are some fast tourers -bikepacking bikes that may be more road oriented for speed over comfort. I would lean toward comfort. I ride a Surly LHT 26" wheeled touring bike as well as a Miyata 610 as touring bikes. The Miyata is slightly sportier and possibly less comfortable for an all-day ride. You need to get to a bike shop and take some for a spin. Think comfort, upright, low gears, wide tires, rack attachment points, durability, easily maintained, as things desirable for a tour.
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Old 11-01-22, 12:24 PM
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I do not mean disrespect but this reminds me of people who get rescued of Mt.Washington in the White Mountains, NH, because they decided to hike a mountain and they just pick the tallest one in the range to start.

First huge idea is to decide to cross a continent and second is to pick probably the sketchiest one

Having said that, 2 years is a long time to get ready, really but one must really GET READY. I believe that if You do get ready in 2 years you will undergo 2 years of transformation which will also include several bicycle purchases (most likely) until You arrive at the setup that fits You.
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